Making the world a comfortable and happy place for the future generations to live in, is proving to be challenging as each day passes by. The planet is facing an energy crisis. We may run out of energy before we know it. Exhaustion of non-renewable energy sources will only result in power outages more often. In today’s world, reducing our carbon footprints must become our prime concern. One solution to this rapid energy depletion is to start using renewable energy sources.
Renewable sources include solar energy, hydropower, wind energy, biothermal energy and other such sources in nature. These resources exist all over the world, as opposed to other energy sources, which are concentrated in only a few countries around the globe. Adopting of renewable energy sources is resulting in energy security, reduction in climate change, and economic profits. Of all the renewable sources, the one which can be harnessed most easily is solar energy.
Solar power is obtained by converting energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses to focus a large area of the sun into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current based on the principle of the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic systems use solar panels fixed on rooftops. The efficiency of these devices has improved significantly in recent years.
Solar panels are devices made of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight directly into electricity. This electricity can then be used as an alternative source of energy in your home’s main supply to power any appliances in use. A solar panel works by letting photons knock electrons out of atoms, thus generating electricity. Solar panels consist of many smaller units called photovoltaic cells. Each cell consists of two slices of semiconducting material. Photovoltaic cells need to establish an electric field in order to work. Manufacturers dope silicon with other substances, giving each slice an electrical charge. They place phosphorous in the top layer of silicon, which gives a negative charge to that layer. The bottom layer gets boron, which results in a positive charge. This generates an electric field between the silicon layers. Then, when a photon of sunlight knocks an electron out, the electric field will push that electron out of the silicon junction.
Solar panels are an eco-friendly method of producing electricity. They usually have a 25-year performance guarantee from the manufacturer and an extended life of 10-15 years beyond this. Solar panels don’t just help you cut down on electricity bills, but also help you make a little extra money. If you generate excess solar power, you can sell the energy back to the National Grid at a decided rate.
There are many solutions to the severe energy problems we are facing. We must reduce the usage of fossil fuels like petroleum, opt for public transport and opt for renewable energy wherever possible. We must go for more energy-efficient appliances. We also must take up the responsibility of educating others on saving electricity and hence saving the Earth; because if we don’t act fast, it’s not just the future generations who won’t have a place to live, it’s us too!